Message in a Bottle: PART ONE

As promised, here’s part one of the series.

This first “chapter” focuses on three different families and their individual, unique experiences. I chose these women because I think they run the gamut, even though two of the three had the commonality of premature babies. Kathryn and Amy’s son, Henry, was born at 31 weeks, but there were even further complications: he was also growth restricted, and Kathryn developed serious medical issues surrounding her pregnancy and birth. In Meghan’s case (which you can read about in yesterday’s FFF Friday), while her daughter was also technically preemie, the health reasons that ultimately led to her formula feeding were quite different.

The last woman interviewed in this initial piece, Sheila, is actually a breastfeeding mom, who found nursing to be a rewarding and positive experience – but she ended up supplementing with some formula due to her employment situation. She worked at a popular coffee chain, and I think this is the type of job we tend to forget about when talking about “workplace difficulty”. Service industry jobs are not like working at a plant, or a big corporation. Hourly wages are low in these positions, and servers depend on tips; also, small restaurants and coffee shops often don’t have the space to provide adequate pumping facilities (there was one bathroom at the tiny storefront Sheila worked at, and the only other space was a tiny, open kitchen area).

Anyway – I found these three stories compelling, especially as all three women are incredibly self-possessed and confident in their decisions. People often dismiss the need for formula feeding support by saying that guilt is a useless emotion; however, guilt is not a big part of these narratives. Instead, I think these stories exemplify the need for better support and acceptance of a wide variety of situations which may lead to a woman needing to (or wanting to) use formula.

I’ll stop blabbing now and let the video speak for itself:


Message in a Bottle: Real Stories of Formula Feeding in America – Part 1 from Formula Feeder on Vimeo.

Watch out for Parts 2&3 next week….

Suzanne Barston is a blogger and author of BOTTLED UP. Fearless Formula Feeder is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

Suzanne Barston – who has written posts on Fearless Formula Feeder.


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4 thoughts on “Message in a Bottle: PART ONE

  1. Wow, thank you for this!!! It's become a huge passion of mine to make women aware of breastfeeding and formula feeding because I feel like a huge part of why a lot of breastfeeding goes bad is due to a lack of knowledge of what to expect and thats when the guilt comes. Looking forward to what else you have coming!! Please let me know if you ever need help with anything, I'm a proud formula feeding mama and am always willing to share my story to help other moms!

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